Whether you love or hate it, social media is here to stay and it's on the rise. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are just a few of the more popular social media platforms that have changed the way we communicate and connect with people everywhere. Although social media has been around for years now, businesses still are just beginning to fully grasp the power of it and realize how much these platforms could potentially help them grow and connect with potential customers unlike ever before.
Even if you don't have a Facebook account or you've never watched a YouTube video, you're most likely aware of what each platform is about. For anyone who isn't aware, social media is a method of networking and sharing content (videos, photos, etc) on the internet. Anyone can set up an account, complete their profile, add a picture and start connecting with old friends (or new ones) just with the click of a mouse. Since millions of people continue to connect on these platforms, businesses have followed suit and continue to create and maintain a presence where their customers are, utilizing various social media marketing tactics. Business and marketing both have forever changed due to this increasing trend.
SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS
You can separate the different types of social media into categories based on the different characteristics of how each platform is used and the types of content shared on each. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr tend to be used for sharing somewhat more personal content, similar to blogs, although each can also be used for business marketing purposes. YouTube and Vimeo are used to store and distribute video content directly or shared to other social platforms with a link back. Pinterest and Instagram mainly focus on sharing visuals/photos and can also be a great way to link to other social platforms. LinkedIn is unique in that it specifically is geared towards career and business-related content.
There are new types and platforms of social media introduced every day, while at the same time once popular platforms lose popularity with the public. Regardless of the platform, the overall concept of social media marketing can change the game for you and your business if effectively executed.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
For those just starting out with social media marketing, you will be shocked at how it can cost nothing to execute while simultaneously effectively boosting your traffic and sales metrics. Using social media is a very simple way to get people talking about your business and what it is you do. Word of mouth advertising and buzz can happen in a matter of seconds without costing a dime or taking weeks and weeks. As a result, social media can drastically improve your ROI and build your business and brand awareness much faster than more traditional marketing methods.
These changes in marketing within the area of social media have made it much easier to keep customers engaged and updated regularly. Where print media formats sent through the mail used to take weeks and require a heavy monetary investment to distribute, social marketing material can be dispersed in seconds and cost pennies on the dollar to produce! Social media has changed the way businesses engage with their customers and resolve an issue that used to take days to fix. Now, they can be addressed within minutes on platforms like Twitter with 120 characters or less.
For entrepreneurs and new businesses, social media marketing can have tremendous results because you no longer need a ton of financial investments to get your name out to the public. You can build up a fan base with a minimal budget and have total control over the whole process. Getting your products and services out to your customers can be simple, due to the ease of distribution digitally.
Hopefully, you can now see the potential benefits in social media for your business's marketing strategy. The next step for you will be to dive into the specifics of each platform and find the one(s) best suited for your needs. Check out more social media strategy tips here.